Archive for the ‘Web Conferencing’ Category

Google+ A new social networking tool

August 4, 2011 Leave a comment

The Google+ Project is Google’s new social networking service.

There have been lots of detailed reviews already, for example, the Huffington Post’s Google+ Review Roundup so I’ll keep this short.

The cornerstone of G+ is Circles.  Circles allow you to put your network friends into groups.  You can then send updates to specific Circles or filter your reading by just viewing updates from a particular circle. I love the idea of Circles and while they are more easily understandable & usable than twitter lists (which only work as a reading filter, not in reverse) I do find the interface a little confusing.  G+ Circles get a B-.

Google+ Cartoon Strip

When I first looked a Google plus with CLT colleagues a couple of weeks ago we got very excited by Hangouts.  A hangout is a video web conference for up to 10 people and it is excellent.  The audio/video quality is great and the video switches between speakers very quickly. G+ Hangouts get an A-.

I don’t do much photo sharing so I didn’t intentionally try out the Instant Upload.  However I took a photo at our away day two weeks ago and later discovered that Google+ had kindly put it online for me.  I was not amused.  I guess I must have missed some small print somewhere but the default setting needs to be off not on. G+ Instant Upload gets a D from me because of this.

It’s early days and predictions are dangerous but there is definite potential.  It’s certainly not Google Wave!  It’ll be interesting to see whether it attracts & retains users once it goes beyond the current “field trial”.  For now I’ll be staying on Twitter until I need a web conference.

Want to know more?

Students, Social Media & Job-Hunting

January 26, 2011 1 comment

Presentation with LSE Careers Service reporting on our work supporting LSE’s students’ use of social media for job-hunting

Earlier today I was at AGCAS Social Media, London presenting ‘Digital Footprints @ LSE: Supporting students to use social media’ with my partner-in-crime LSE Careers Adviser Judith Baines. We were talking about the sessions we run for students, in particular a termly lunchtime seminar and more recently a Linkedin webinar.

There was a very interesting discussion about digital identities and the emerging “social netiquette”:

  • Is it OK to ignore connection requests
  • If someone recommends you on Linkedin do you need to reciprocate
  • Do you become ‘friends’ with your students
  • and so on…

Some Plans for 2011

January 21, 2011 1 comment

South Beach, Miami Writing for The Web

Something I revisited last year, running a workshop for Netskills in May, which I’ll be doing again in March. It’s a topic that really interests me and I’ll be looking to build my knowledge further this year. I’ve made a start with Janice Redish’s excellent book: Letting Go of the Words which emphasises the importance of web content being conversational.  I’m also planning to apply the general good practice guidelines to online learning and come up with a “Writing for the VLE” guide.


Last year I co-facilitated a few webinars here at LSE,  some for a Health Economics masters and one with the LSE Careers Service on using Linkedin.  It’s a challenging format and one we will be experimenting with further this year; myself and my colleague Sonja Grussendorf are planning to offer staff a series of lunchtime webinars after Easter.  When planning last year’s LinkedIn one I found the Live Online Learning – a facilitator’s Guide from Onlignment really useful.

Continue reading Some plans for 2011

Linkedin Webinar

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

Linkedin SmurfsGreat feedback for the first LSE Careers Service / CLT Webinar which focused on using Linkedin

As part of my work with the LSE Careers Service I co-facilitated a Webinar about Linkedin for job-hunting students. It was the first time we had offered a webinar and the first time we had run a session specifically on Linkedin.  The feedback was very positive:

“A really useful talk and a great way to communicate with the careers service. Thank you”

  • 9 out of 12 said they would make more use of Linkedin as a result of attending the webinar
  • All 12 participants want the Careers Service to run more sessions as webinars

The webinar covered 4 topics:

  1. What is Linkedin? Why use it?
  2. Your Profile – Get Noticed
  3. Get Connected
  4. Researching & Getting More Connected

We tried to minimise the chalk-&-talk by building in some interaction: stopping regularly for questions and using the built-in question tools.  It is very easy for the mind (& fingers!) to wander off in a Webinar so you need strategies for dealing with this!


Would be nice if…

May 14, 2009 1 comment

I’m writing this as I listen to an interesting talk by Martin WellerHow digital technologies are impacting higher education which is part of the From Courses to Dis / Course event.  As you can tell I’m multi-tasking…  a few minutes ago I dipped out and when I dropped back in I really wanted to flick back thru’ Martin’s presentation slides but wasn’t able to.

The session is in Elluminate and for all I know it may be possible but I don’t think so.  Nor is it possible with the equivalent tool that we use Wimba Classroom.  What I’d like is the ability for participants to be able to control which slides they see with a one-click option to jump back to the presenter’s current slide.  Perhaps Elluminate allows this or perhaps other web conferencing tools do?  Now, back to viewing as well as listening to the discussion…

Stepping Up a Level

May 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Last week I gave an online presentation with my colleague Hervé Didiot-Cook as part of the Wimba Distinguished Lecture Series (Distinguished = we said yes): Winning with Wimba? From early enthusiasts to the mainstream at a UK University. We were talking about the Wimba Voice Tools which we love but it was a taxing experience as we had several problems with audio, some self-inflicted, others due I think to the Wimba Classroom software which we are less sure about – see Web Conferecing a-go-go by my colleague Kris.

Some of the problems Hervé & I experienced are due to our relative inexperience with these kinds of tools, and this what I mean by stepping up a level. I think for many staff and students it is something of a step up from text-based keyboard & mouse interactions to ones involving audio, headsets, video & webcams as well as host of non-technical stuff. (The lack of visual signals etc). If a learning technologist & a learning technology enthusiast struggle with adapting to this then we know it’s going to be a bigger step for staff & students who are less confident with ICTs.

The week before last I was at Imperial talking to a mixed audience (lecturers, learning technologists & IT staff) about our use of Wimba Classroom & Voice Tools. I made this point about these tools being a step up for many users and although there were a few nods of agreement I think there was a certain amount of scepticism too. I’d be interested to hear what others think.

And finally… Donny Donny Donny (sung to Ruby)! Congratulations to Donny Rovers for playing passing football and stepping up a level on Sunday!

Images: Going Up! Doncaster Rovers 1- 0 Leeds United, 2008 League One playoff Final at Wembley.

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